Why Experts Say the Housing Market Won’t Crash [INFOGRAPHIC]

Why Experts Say the Housing Market Won’t Crash [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Why Experts Say the Housing Market Won’t Crash [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights

What You Should Find Out Before Buying a Home

There are few decisions that can feel as overwhelming and massive as the decision to purchase a home. Buying a home is a super big financial decision that will impact your family’s finances for decades to come. This means that you should do as much research as possible on any home you might purchase before you sign any closing papers. If you don’t know the crucial information about your home candidates, you can’t possibly make the right choice for your future. Here are three things you absolutely must find out before buying a home to make the best decision possible.

Make Sure You Like the Neighborhood

The first thing that you should find out before buying a home is whether or not you’re really like the neighborhood. When you are buying a house, you aren’t just buying the property, but access to the neighborhood you live in. If you don’t like the rest of the neighborhood, the shops, food and entertainment options, and the people of the neighborhood, then you probably shouldn’t move there. Spend several days and afternoons just occupying your time in the neighborhood to see if it gives you the right feelings.

Check if it Has an HOA

Another important thing that you should find out before buying any home is if it is part of an HOA. If a home is in an HOA, it means that it is part of a neighborhood organization which pays for certain amenities, which can include utilities, parking, and lawn maintenance services. Regular maintenance is important to the health of your lawn. If you purchase a home outside of an HOA you will be responsible for lawn care yourself, and you need to maintain a good lawn to preserve the value of your property.

If There Are Any Necessary Repairs

The final thing that you should find out before buying a home is if there are any necessary repairs to the home. When you buy a home, you should have it inspected, and most lenders will require an inspection. These inspections can turn up maintenance issues that are unsolved which you will be inheriting. With this information, you can avoid paying more for a house than it is worth.

Buying a home is a major life decision that you cannot make hastily. It is important to do your research thoroughly when buying a house. Make sure that you know these three things about any house before choosing to buy to ensure you make a smart decision.

Check out this article on how a real estate agent can benefit you!

What Does the Rest of the Year Hold for Home Prices?

What Does the Rest of the Year Hold for Home Prices? | Simplifying The Market

Whether you’re a potential homebuyer, seller, or both, you probably want to know: will home prices fall this year? Let’s break down what’s happening with home prices, where experts say they’re headed, and why this matters for your homeownership goals.

Last Year’s Rapid Home Price Growth Wasn’t the Norm

In 2021, home prices appreciated quickly. One reason why is that record-low mortgage rates motivated more buyers to enter the market. As a result, there were more people looking to make a purchase than there were homes available for sale. That led to competitive bidding wars which drove prices up. CoreLogic helps explain how unusual last year’s appreciation was:

Price appreciation averaged 15% for the full year of 2021, up from the 2020 full year average of 6%.”

In other words, the pace of appreciation in 2021 far surpassed the 6% the market saw in 2020. And even that appreciation was greater than the pre-pandemic norm which was typically around 3.8%. This goes to show, 2021 was an anomaly in the housing market spurred by more buyers than homes for sale.

Home Price Appreciation Moderates Today

This year, home price appreciation is slowing (or decelerating) from the feverish pace the market saw over the past two years. According to the latest forecasts, experts say on average, nationwide, prices will still appreciate by roughly 10% in 2022 (see graph below):

What Does the Rest of the Year Hold for Home Prices? | Simplifying The Market

Why do all of these experts agree prices will continue to rise? It’s simple. Even though housing supply is growing today, it’s still low overall thanks to several factors, including a long period of underbuilding homes. And experts say that’s going to help keep upward pressure on home prices this year. Additionally, since mortgage rates are higher this year than they were last year, buyer demand has slowed.

As the market undergoes this change, it’s true price appreciation this year won’t match the feverish pace in 2021. But the rapid appreciation the market saw last year wasn’t sustainable anyway.

What Does That Mean for You?

Today, the market is beginning to move back toward pre-pandemic levels. But even the forecast for 10% home price growth in 2022 is well beyond the 3.8% that’s more typical for a normal market.

So, despite what you may have heard, experts say home prices won’t fall in most markets. They’ll just appreciate more moderately.

If you’re worried the house you’re trying to sell or the home you want to buy will decrease in value, you should know experts aren’t calling for depreciation in most markets, just deceleration. That means your home should still grow in value, just not as fast as it did last year.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of making a move, you shouldn’t wait for prices to fall. Experts say nationally, prices will continue to appreciate this year, just at a more moderate pace. When you’re ready to begin the process of buying or selling, let’s connect so you have a local market expert on your side each step of the way.

Is the Shifting Market a Challenge or an Opportunity for Homebuyers?

Is the Shifting Market a Challenge or an Opportunity for Homebuyers? | Simplifying The Market

If you tried to buy a home during the pandemic, you know the limited supply of homes for sale was a considerable challenge. It created intense bidding wars which drove home prices up as buyers competed with one another to be the winning offer.

But what was once your greatest challenge may now be your greatest opportunity. Today, data shows buyer demand is moderating in the wake of higher mortgage rates. Here are a few reasons why this shift in the housing market is good news for your homebuying plans.

The Challenge

There were many reasons for the limited number of homes on the market during the pandemic, including a history of underbuilding new homes since the market crash in 2008. As the graph below shows, housing supply is well below what the market has seen for most of the past 10 years (see graph below):

Is the Shifting Market a Challenge or an Opportunity for Homebuyers? | Simplifying The Market

The Opportunity

But that graph also shows a trend back up in the right direction this year. That’s because moderating demand is slowing the pace of home sales and that’s one of the reasons housing supply is finally able to grow. For you, that means you’ll have more options to choose from, so it shouldn’t be as difficult to find your next home as it has been recently.

And having more options may also lead to less intense bidding wars. Data from the Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows this trend has already begun. In their recent reports, bidding wars are easing month-over-month (see graph below):

Is the Shifting Market a Challenge or an Opportunity for Homebuyers? | Simplifying The Market

If you’ve been outbid before or you’ve struggled to find a home that meets your needs, breathe a welcome sigh of relief. The big takeaway here is you have more options and less competition today.

Just remember, while easing, data shows multiple-offer scenarios are still happening – they’re just not as intense as they were over the past year. You should still lean on an agent to guide you through the process and help you make your strongest offer up front.

Bottom Line

If you’re still looking to make a move, it may be time to pick your home search back up today. Let’s connect to kick off the homebuying process.

Selling Your House? Your Asking Price Matters More Now Than Ever

Selling Your House? Your Asking Price Matters More Now Than Ever | Simplifying The Market

There’s no doubt about the fact that the housing market is slowing from the frenzy we saw over the past two years. But what does that mean for you if you’re thinking of selling your house?

While home prices are still appreciating in most markets and experts say that will continue, they’re climbing at a slower pace because rising mortgage rates are creating less buyer demand. Because of this, there are more homes on the market. And in a shift like this one, the way you price your home matters more than ever.

Why Today’s Housing Market Is Different

During the pandemic, sellers could price their homes higher because demand was so high, and supply was so low. This year, things are shifting, and that means your approach to pricing your house needs to shift too.

Because we’re seeing less buyer demand, sellers have to recognize this is a different market than it was during the pandemic. Here’s what’s at stake if you don’t.

Why Pricing Your House at Market Value Matters

The price you set for your house sends a message to potential buyers. If you price it too high, you run the risk of deterring buyers.

When that happens, you may have to lower the price to try to reignite interest in your house when it sits on the market for a while. But be aware that a price drop can be seen as a red flag for some buyers who will wonder what that means about the home or if in fact it’s still overpriced. Some sellers aren’t adjusting their expectations to today’s market, and realtor.com explains the impact that’s having:

“. . . the share of listings with a price cut was nearly double its year ago level even as it remains well below pre-pandemic levels.”

To avoid the headache of having to lower your price, you’ll want to price it right from the onset. A real estate advisor knows how to determine that perfect asking price. To find the right price, they balance the value of homes in your neighborhood, current market trends and buyer demand, the condition of your house, and more.

Not to mention, pricing your house fairly based on market conditions increases the chance you’ll have more buyers who are interested in purchasing it. This helps lead to stronger offers and a greater likelihood it’ll sell quickly.

Why You Still Have an Opportunity When You Sell Today

Rest assured, it’s still a sellers’ market, and you’ll still get great benefits if you plan accordingly and work with an agent to set your price at the current market value. As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:

Homes priced right are selling very quickly, but homes priced too high are deterring prospective buyers.”

Mike Simonsen, the Founder and CEO of Altos Research, also notes:

“We can see that demand is still there for the homes that are priced properly.”

Bottom Line

Homes priced right are selling quickly in today’s real estate market. Let’s connect to make sure you price your house based on current market conditions so you can maximize your sales potential and minimize your hassle in a shifting market.

Home Improvements That Get a Higher ROI

When you’re making home improvements, there are many different goals that you need to balance. Any home renovation or improvement ought to improve your quality of life in some way shape or form. But there is also the element of home value that goes into a home improvement as well. There are simply some home improvements which add value to your house better than others. If you are about to sell your house, then focusing on high ROI home improvements can net you a much better sale price. Here are three home improvements that get a higher ROI every time.

Landscaping

The first home improvement project that gets a high ROI every time is landscaping. The reason that landscaping has such a good return is because having good landscape is really quite inexpensive. For the cost of a landscaping crew, you can add thousands of dollars to the perceived value of your home because of the curb appeal. Curb appeal is how attractive your home looks from the street. The better your house looks, the more curb appeal it has, and the better price you will get for it. If you are looking for a high ROI home improvement, then landscaping is a good place to start.

Kitchen Remodels

Another great home improvement with a high ROI is a kitchen remodel. The kitchen is one of the heaviest rooms in your home. On top of this, your kitchen is home to thousands of dollars of cooking appliances like your sinks, refrigerator, microwave, oven, stove, and anything else you may have. Some additions may not add enough value to your kitchen to make it worthwhile. When upgrading your kitchen, go big or go home for the best return possible. This can give you a several thousand-dollar boost to your sale price.

Painting

The final home improvement that gets a high ROI every time is painting. Whether you end up painting the interior or exterior of your home, either are an inexpensive way to freshen up your house. A fresh, high-quality paint job can make any home seem brand new. Make sure that you are sticking with colors that have generally broad appeal, however, as making too unique style choices can limit your sale options and decrease your home value.

Getting the best price for your home often means doing some renovations. Focusing on renovations with a high ROI is a great way to get the best bang for your buck. Start with these three renovations for a high return on your investment.

Check out this article on careers related to real estate you should explore!

How to Fulfill Your Vision for a Fixer-Upper Home

Buying a fixer-upper home gives you the opportunity to make the home uniquely yours. While it may look easy to tackle a fixer-upper project, there are many steps to fulfill your vision. To fulfill your vision, you need to be realistic, contact a contractor, and know how much you can do yourself.

Be Realistic

Being realistic with your fixer-upper home is important in making sure you don’t waste time and money. You need to decide your budget for purchasing a home and renovation cost. The cost for any renovations will depend on how much you can do yourself and how much you will use contractors. Once you have estimated costs, add on another 10 to 20% to give yourself a buffer for any unforeseen issues with the home. You need to also check on permits for making any changes. Once you have costs and permits, you need to ensure that changes you want to make are possible with the existing structure.

Contact a Contractor

A contractor can be helpful at every step in the process of fixing up your home. They can do an initial walk through of the home to help estimate costs for the changes you want to make. A contractor can ensure that all projects are quality and can help the project run smoothly. When you are looking for a contractor, make sure they are qualified. Not every state requires licensing for contractors, but you should still ask for their qualifications. This ensures your contractor will do a good job.

Know What you Can Do Yourself

To fulfill your vision of your fixer-upper home, you may be able to do some of the fixing yourself. The best fixer-upper homes are those that have mostly cosmetic improvements to make which will make this easier to do. Some projects should be left to professionals, such as plumbing or electric, however there are many projects that you can do that will make a big impact. Simple things you can do are changing out light fixtures, painting walls, drywall repairs, hanging cabinets, or installing trim.

Your vision of your home can be possible with your fixer upper. You need to do your research into the home to make sure the structure is good and then decide how you want to do the project. Depending on the size of the project, it may take some time but will be worthwhile once complete.

Check out this article on types of flooring that can attract buyers to your property

Why the Forbearance Program Changed the Housing Market

Why the Forbearance Program Changed the Housing Market | Simplifying The Market

When the pandemic hit in 2020, many experts thought the housing market would crash. They feared job loss and economic uncertainty would lead to a wave of foreclosures similar to when the housing bubble burst over a decade ago. Thankfully, the forbearance program changed that. It provided much-needed relief for homeowners so a foreclosure crisis wouldn’t happen again. Here’s why forbearance worked.

Forbearance enabled nearly five million homeowners to get back on their feet in a time when having the security and protection of a home was more important than ever. Those in need were able to work with their banks and lenders to stay in their homes rather than go into foreclosure. Marina Walsh, Vice President of Industry Analysis at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), notes:

“Most borrowers exiting forbearance are moving into either a loan modification, payment deferral, or a combination of the two workout options.”

As the graph below shows, with modification, deferral, and workout options in place, four out of every five homeowners in forbearance are either paid in full or are exiting with a plan. They’re able to stay in their homes.

Why the Forbearance Program Changed the Housing Market | Simplifying The Market

What does this mean for the housing market?

Since so many people can stay in their homes and work out alternative options, there won’t be a wave of foreclosures coming to the market. And while rising slightly since the foreclosure moratorium was lifted this year, foreclosures today are still nowhere near the levels seen in the housing crisis.

Forbearance wasn’t the only game changer, either. Lending standards have improved significantly since the housing bubble burst, and that’s one more thing keeping foreclosure filings low. Today’s borrowers are much more qualified to pay their home loans.

And while the majority of homeowners are exiting the forbearance program with a plan, for those who still need to make a change due to financial hardship or other challenges, today’s record-level of equity is giving them the opportunity to sell their houses and avoid foreclosure altogether. Homeowners have options they just didn’t have in the housing crisis when so many people owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth. Thanks to their equity and the current undersupply of homes on the market, homeowners can sell their houses, make a move, and not have to go through the foreclosure process that led to the housing market crash in 2008.

Thomas LaSalvia, Chief Economist with Moody’s Analytics, states:

“There’s some excess savings out there, over 2 trillion worth. . . . There are people that have ownership of those homes right now, that even in a downturn, they’d still likely be able to pay that mortgage and won’t have to hand over keys. And there won’t be a lot of those distressed sales that happened in the 2008 crisis.”

Bottom Line

The forbearance program was a game changer for homeowners in need. It’s one of the big reasons why we won’t see a wave of foreclosures coming to the market.

Constraints You Need to Work

Constraints You Need to Work With When Buying a Home

There are inevitably going to be obstacles when trying to buy a house. Limits and problems and numerous other constraints can be discouraging. The key is accepting what is outside of your control and learning to work with what you can in order to get the best house possible.

Location Restrictions

The location of your new home is probably the biggest decision you have to initially make. And right off the bat, it can sometimes render your plan for a dream home dead in the water. Sometimes, the perfect house is in a less-than-ideal area; sometimes, a perfect area has nothing but overpriced homes outside of your budget. You’re going to have to work with what you’ve got. If your new home is being dictated by the location (e.g., you’re moving for work) then you can begin there. Look around often and thoroughly. Use both physical and online resources to find new neighborhoods and houses to check out.

Your Budget

Your budget is the most important factor when buying real estate. You’re going to need to get preapproved for a mortgage by a bank before you ever even show up to an open house. That means you’re going to already know what your price range is. No matter how much you’d like to maybe change it, the fact of the matter is that you’re going to need to go with what you and the bank have agreed on. Be realistic about your payments and your income. The hardest decision to make is when something is just barely outside of your budget – is it worth the financial risk? Will you have promotions or other sources of income coming up? Consider carefully.

Family Situation

The condition of you and your family, if one is involved, will also need to be taken into account. Kids make a huge difference to your decision. Is there a good school nearby? Is the neighborhood safe? Is the home and yard big enough for kids to grow and play in? Even if kids are not involved, having a partner or even just a pet is going to make an important difference. Even if you aren’t living with anyone currently, could that change within a few years?

Planning is very important when buying a house. But so is flexibility. Be aware of not only the conditions and factors that inform your side of things but be aware of the market at large as well. Don’t be taken by surprise.

Check out this article on how to find an energy efficient home!

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